February 2015

Baseball players maintain improved balance 6 months after UCL surgery

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Improved balance in baseball players who have had Tommy John surgery is maintained after their release from physical therapy, according to research from Fort Worth, TX.

In a 2014 study, the Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine investigators found that baseball players who had undergone ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction had significant balance deficits prior to surgery but had normal balance when they began the throwing stage of their rehabilitation, about three months after surgery.

The same researchers performed a follow-up study of 28 UCL-reconstructed players and 28 healthy players, presented in February at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, to assess lower extremity balance and shoulder range of motion at the time of the injured players’ release from physical therapy, about six months after surgery.

Y Balance Test scores did not differ significantly between groups for either the stance or lead leg. Glenohumeral internal rotation deficit and total shoulder rotational motion were also similar for the two groups.


Garrison C, Hannon J, Conway J. Baseball players with an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction demonstrate lower extremity balance and shoulder range of motion measurements similar to healthy controls at the time of release from physical therapy. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2015;45(1):A59.

Hannon J, Garrison JC, Conway J. Lower extremity balance is improved at the time of return to throwing in baseball players after an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction when compared to preoperative measures. Int J Sports Phys Ther 2014;9(3):356-364.

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